It’s always a challenge to keep materialism and money smarts in check during the holiday season. Nearly everything we see in the media at this time of year urges us to spend and consume. Over the last few years, a new trend has emerged—one that lets people enjoy the idea of gift giving while helping to make the world a better place. The New York Times just offered a great list of charitable gifts that actually change lives.
Even thoughtful, world-changing gifts can be tough to do in tough economic times. For those who want to instill good will and the spirit of the season without going broke, there’s the idea of “RAK-ing.” Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) are fun, often simple ways to brighten someone’s day. Perhaps you can walk a neighbor’s dog, hand out candy canes to busy shoppers or bring some coffee to the school crossing guard. If you’re lucky, the RAK-ing “victims” will pass it on.
On her blog, Tracie Stier-Johnson offers great ideas as well as free cards to download and get you on your way to spreading holiday cheer. If you are looking for more inspiration, read about how one woman spent her birthday surprising people with good deeds here. Better yet, join the actual non-profit foundation founded “upon the powerful belief in kindness and dedicated to providing resources and tools that encourage acts of kindness.”
There’s scientific proof that doing something nice for someone makes you feel better. Why not put it to the test? How do you plan to celebrate the spirit of the season without breaking your wallet?